I’ve asked five blog contributors to share their favorite herb-related gift ideas. HSA’s blog will be running one per day during the first week of December. – Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster
By Beth Schreibman-Gehring, Chairman of Education for The Western Reserve Herb Society unit of The Herb Society of America
My father had over three acres of the most glorious organic gardens, filled with historic roses, lilies, and every kind of beautiful perennial and herb imaginable. I remember perfect summer evenings when he’d wander his gardens with a cocktail in one hand and a sprinkling hose in the other. He taught me everything I know about growing beautiful gardens organically and with a minimum of intervention.
The funny thing about my father is that he didn’t have a garage full of tools. He wasn’t into the latest, greatest gardening anything, well except for permaculture which really isn’t a latest and greatest secret. Like any other gardener he had shovels and clippers and long-handled pruners, but for his constant companion he preferred a simpler tool, a very sharp and well-made Japanese all- purpose gardening stainless knife called a hori-hori.
It wasn’t until I had my own gardens that I really appreciated his sensibility. My stainless steel hori-hori is five garden tools in one. I can measure planting depth with it. I can prune with it. I can saw with its serrated edge and I can dig with its straight edge. It’s the easiest way that I know to draw and define a perfect circle for planting shrubs and trees. My romantic father used to cut my mother beautiful bouquets of his glorious roses with it. He has been gone for many years now but his native wisdom still lingers. I own two of these.
My favorite hori-hori is sold by http://www.barebonesliving.com and it comes with a wonderful sheath to house it in with a strong stainless steel clip. I’ve given so many of them as gifts that I’ve practically lost count and the fact that you’ll feel like a real gardening badass when you’ve got it clipped to your belt never hurts. It even has a notch for cutting twine or opening an ice cold bottle.